POLYPROPYLENE LIQUOR BOTTLES
Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants, Importers, and
PURPOSE. The purpose of this circular is to inform you of
a forthcoming ATF Ruling concerning the approval of
polypropylene containers to be used for packaging distilled
spirits products. The ATF Ruling will read as follows:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has received
inquiries regarding the suitability of containers made of
polypropylene material as liquor bottles.
Section 5301(a) of Title 26, United States Code, authorizes
the Secretary of the Treasury to regulate the kind of
containers designed or intended for use in the sale of
distilled spirits. Sections 19.11, 194.11, 250.11, and 251.11
of Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, state the definition
of a liquor bottle as:
"A bottle made of glass or earthenware, or of other
suitable material approved by the Food and Drug
Administration, which has been designed or is intended for
use as a container for distilled spirits for sale for
beverage purposes and which has been determined by the
Director to adequately protect the revenue."
The container in question consists of three component
materials, and is designed in such a manner that the only
component that comes in contact with distilled spirits is an
outer lining made of polypropylene. Hydrogen peroxide may be
used to sterilize the lining. Food and Drug Administration
regulations provide for the use of polypropylene as a component
of articles intended for use in contact with food, including
alcoholic beverages, in 21 C.F.R. § 177.1520. Hydrogen
peroxide is approved as a sterilizing agent for polypropylene
food contact surfaces, including those for alcoholic beverages,
under 21 C.F.R. § 178.1005. The other two components, a core
made of ethylene-vinyl acetate-vinyl alcohol (EVAL) encased
entirely within a layer of polypropylene-maleic anhydride
adduct are authorized for use in food containers by 21 C.F.R.
SS 77.1360(a) and 175.300(b), respectively. Neither material
comes into contact with alcoholic beverages within the
Test results indicate that a slight proof loss within the
tolerances provided by 27 C.F.R. § 5.37 may occur. Such a
proof loss has no negative impact on the revenue. Therefore,
it is determined that the use of these polypropylene-lined
containers as liquor bottles affords adequate protection to the
excise tax revenue.
Since the containers made of polypropylene are not
considered standard liquor bottles, the Bureau is requiring
that anyone using the containers apply for approval of the
containers as distinctive liquor bottles under 27 C.F.R.
Part 19. The containers will also be required to be
manufactured in approved standards of fill.
Held, containers made of polypropylene and other material
may be used as containers for distilled spirits provided:
(1) The polypropylene containers are in compliance with
Food and Drug Administration regulations;
(2) Approval has been received for the containers as a
distinctive liquor bottle; and
(3) The containers are manufactured in an approved
standard of fill.
INQUIRIES. Inquiries concerning this circular should refer
to its number and be addressed to the Associate Director,
Compliance Operations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226.
Attention: Distilled Spirits and Tobacco Branch.